Make 4 servings of delicious Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding from scratch! Rich and creamy, you’re going to love this classic dessert!
Make 4 servings of delicious Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding from scratch! Rich and creamy, you're going to love this classic dessert!

Growing up, I did not care too much for tapioca pudding, but as an adult, I’ve come to love it! Long ago I used to keep a box of INSTANT tapioca in our pantry, but years ago found a yummy recipe to make this creamy classic pudding from scratch!

Once you buy tapioca pearls at the grocery store, you can store them in the pantry for a long time! Now- whenever we want some old-fashioned tapioca pudding, I’ve already got the tapioca pearls, ready to go! To make this pudding from scratch you need uncooked tapioca pearls, plus a few other common ingredients (sugar, salt, water, eggs, milk and vanilla)! I always have these other ingredients in my kitchen, so when we want this pudding, it’s very convenient to pull together!

Making tapioca pudding from scratch does take a little bit of time (and stirring), but it is well worth it, in my opinion. The finished pudding is cold, creamy, thick, and delicious!

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Prepare The Tapioca Pearls

This old-fashioned recipe calls for uncooked small pearl tapioca. You can usually find it near the pudding mixes (or sometimes in the pasta section) at the local grocery store. Do NOT use boxed instant tapioca mix for this recipe. To prepare it to be cooked, measure 1/3 cup of the tapioca pearls into a Medium sized non-stick saucepan. NOTE: Make sure to use a non-stick saucepan, so the pudding won’t scorch on the bottom of the pan during the extended cooking time. I learned this the hard way once awhile ago… trust me!

Cover the tapioca pearls with ¾ cup of water, and then let them sit and soak for 30 minutes. This “soaking” helps soften the hard tapioca pearls a bit before cooking. 

Tapioca pearls are measured in a measuring cup before cooking.The tapioca pearls are soaking in a pan full of water.

Once the tapioca has finished soaking, add milk and salt to the saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil on MEDIUM heat, then reduce the heat to LOW and let the pudding simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. The pudding mixture will thicken considerably while it is cooking.

Milk and salt are added to the pan of soaked tapioca pearls.Old-fashioned tapioca pudding cooks for 30 minutes until it thickens.

Temper The Eggs So They Don’t Scramble

When the pudding is done cooking, remove the pan from the heat. Now you need to prepare the eggs to add to the hot mixture. If you add the eggs directly into the hot pudding, they will scramble, and we don’t want that to happen! So the eggs must be “tempered” first, which means warming them up slowly so they can be added to a hot mixture without scrambling them.

In a small bowl, combine lightly beaten eggs with granulated sugar. Whisk these 2 ingredients together, to combine. Remove ½ cup of the hot pudding from the saucepan. SLOWLY (very slowly) while whisking continuously, drizzle the hot pudding into the eggs, a little at a time. Keep whisking while slowly drizzling in the hot stuff!

Once ½ cup of hot pudding has been incorporated into the eggs, slowly drizzle the combined mixture back into the remaining hot pudding in the saucepan. Whisk continuously while it’s being added. 

Eggs are whisked with sugar until they're combined.The egg mixture is tempered by drizzling in some hot pudding mixture a bit at a time.Tempered eggs are whisked back into the pan of hot tapioca pudding.

Final Steps Before Chilling

Return the pan to the heat. Cook the old-fashioned tapioca pudding on LOW heat for 4 more minutes, stirring constantly as it continues to thicken. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Transfer all the pudding from the saucepan into a medium sized mixing bowl.

Fill a large bowl (larger than the one the pudding is in) with lots of ice cubes and small amount of water. Set the bowl with the pudding over the ice in the larger bowl (see photo #3 below). This will help to quickly cool the old-fashioned tapioca pudding. Allow the pudding to sit over the ice for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, as the pudding continues to thicken.

Old-fashioned tapioca pudding is cooked longer until it really thickens.Vanilla extract is added to the tapioca pudding, once off the heat.A bowl of old-fashioned tapioca pudding rests on a bowl of ice water to cool it quickly.

Who Wants Some Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding?

Once the pudding has chilled on top of the ice water “bath” for 15 minutes, remove the pudding bowl from the ice bath. At this point, you can either leave the pudding in the mixing bowl or divide it up into 4 serving containers… your choice. The recipe will yield four servings (½ cup each) of old-fashioned tapioca pudding. Use plastic wrap to cover the pudding (see note below).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Lay the plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding, making contact with the surface of the pudding. This will help to prevent a “skin” from developing on the pudding as it chills.

Place the (covered) old-fashioned tapioca pudding in the refrigerator, and chill completely until ready to serve. Garnish each serving with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired, then serve cold!

Four servings of old-fashioned tapioca pudding, ready to be refrigerated.Each portion of tapioca pudding is topped with whipped cream before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for old-fashioned tapioca pudding. It takes a little bit of time to prepare, but results in a thick, creamy and delicious classic pudding, I’m confident you’ll enjoy! Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon for more yummy, family-friendly recipes! Take care, and have a great day.

Looking For More PUDDING or MOUSSE Recipes?

You can find ALL of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have some delicious pudding and mousse recipes for you to enjoy, including:

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Original recipe source: “Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007, page 292, published in 2006 by Oxmoor House

↓↓ PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW ↓↓

0 from 0 votes
Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Make 4 servings of delicious Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding from scratch! Rich and creamy, you're going to love this classic dessert!

Category: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: old-fashioned tapioca pudding
Servings: 4 (1/2 cup) servings
Calories Per Serving: 204 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • cup small pearl tapioca uncooked
  • ¾ cup water
  • cups low-fat milk (1%)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
OPTIONAL GARNISH FOR SERVING: whipped cream and/or grated nutmeg
    Instructions
    1. Place tapioca pearls in a medium sized non-stick saucepan. NOTE: Make sure to use a non-stick saucepan, so pudding won't scorch on bottom of pan while cooking. Add water; let tapioca soak in water for 30 minutes.

    2. Add milk and salt to the saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil on MEDIUM heat, then reduce heat to LOW. Let pudding simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat when done cooking.

    3. In a small bowl, combine eggs with sugar. Whisk, to combine. Remove 1/2 cup hot pudding from the saucepan. SLOWLY (very slowly) while whisking continuously, drizzle this hot pudding into the eggs, a little at a time. Once ½ C. hot pudding has been incorporated into eggs, slowly drizzle combined mixture back into remaining pudding in saucepan, whisking continuously while adding. 

    4. Return pan to heat. Cook pudding on LOW heat 4 more minutes, stirring constantly as it continues to thicken. Remove pan from heat; stir in vanilla. Transfer pudding into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

    5. Fill a large bowl (larger than pudding bowl) with ice cubes and small amount of water. Set pudding bowl over ice in larger bowl for 15 minutes, stirring (carefully) occasionally, as pudding continues to thicken.

    6. After 15 minutes, remove pudding bowl from ice bath. *At this point, you can either leave pudding in mixing bowl or divide it into 4 serving dishes/containers. Use plastic wrap to cover pudding. NOTE: Lay plastic wrap directly on top of pudding, making contact with surface of pudding. This helps prevent a "skin" from forming on pudding as it chills. Place (covered) pudding in refrigerator; chill completely until ready to serve. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and/or a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired, and serve cold!

    Nutrition Facts
    Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding
    Amount Per Serving (1 (1/2 cup serving))
    Calories 204 Calories from Fat 36
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 4g6%
    Saturated Fat 2g13%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 100mg33%
    Sodium 235mg10%
    Potassium 248mg7%
    Carbohydrates 35g12%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 24g27%
    Protein 8g16%
    Vitamin A 395IU8%
    Calcium 185mg19%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Make 4 servings of delicious Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding from scratch! Rich and creamy, you're going to love this classic dessert!

    Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

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